PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods shot his lowest spherical of the 12 months, a 7-under-par 65 at TPC Sawgrass that had the early Saturday morning crowd buzzing as he climbed the Gamers Championship leaderboard.
It was additionally the bottom rating in Woods’ 66 profession journeys across the Stadium course, the place he received in 2001 and 2013. His earlier finest scores had been 66s in 2000 and 2001 — additionally in the course of the third spherical.
Jordan Spieth, enjoying just a few teams earlier than Woods, made six birdies — and a bogey — on the again 9 to match Woods’ 65.
Each gamers, who made the minimize on the quantity Friday at 1 below, completed their rounds Saturday tied for eighth at Eight-under 208 — with simply lower than two hours to go earlier than chief Webb Simpson was to tee off.
“I finally got off to a good start,” said Woods, who opened the tournament with rounds of 72-71. “I birdied the primary couple of holes, and I simply saved it rolling from there. I hit quite a lot of good photographs immediately. It was good to see just a few putts go in.
“Overall, the whole day, I hit a lot of quality shots, and 65 was probably as high as I could have shot, which was kind of nice.”
Woods has spent the previous two weeks struggling to seek out his placing contact and unable to provide himself sufficient birdie alternatives.
On Sunday on the Wells Fargo Championship, he performed a birdie-free spherical for simply the 11th time in his PGA Tour profession. By means of Friday at Sawgrass, he had an eagle and simply 4 birdies.
However Woods birdied 4 of the primary 5 holes en path to a 30 — his lowest rating ever on the entrance aspect at TPC Sawgrass and one off the course file. He added two extra birdies, on the 11th and 12th holes, then made his first bogey on the par-Four 14th when he missed the inexperienced and couldn’t hit his pitch shut.
One other alternative handed on the par-5 16th, the place Woods had simply 225 yards to the pin however was between golf equipment and ended up hooking a Four-iron brief in a bunker. He blasted to eight toes however could not convert.
“He is driving it actually properly,” stated Mackenzie Hughes, who performed with Woods for the primary time and shot 68. “He is received management, the form, hit some good little cuts, a pair good little attracts. He simply type of had management of his golf ball. Clearly his placing type of speaks for itself, however in that 10- to 20-foot vary, he is simply so stable, and he rolled in some very nice putts immediately.”
Hughes, 27, stated he grew up watching and idolizing Woods, and it was a thrill to be paired with him.
“I know it’s 90 degrees,” Hughes stated. “But I can assure you, for me it was goosebumps and shivers out there hearing all the noise and playing with him.”
Woods hit 11 of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens and wanted simply 27 putts.
Spieth did his harm on the again 9, enjoying it in 31 strokes, together with birdies on the closing three holes.
And it was welcome, given his struggles right here of late and this 12 months generally. Spieth had missed the minimize in his earlier three Gamers Championships and has struggled to get a lot going this 12 months, particularly on the greens.
“I think I was perfect inside of 12, 15 … 10 to 15 feet today, and anywhere inside, which was probably the first time this year that’s been the case,” Spieth said. “I began to really feel actually snug in my setup. … This was actually stable immediately with the putter inside 15 toes, and that simply makes you extra snug. It leads into the remainder of the sport.
“I really drove the ball unbelievably effectively the primary two days, and I hit my driver actually poorly immediately and shot 7-under. So it simply exhibits you the place it really issues, and that is on the greens.”
Spieth hit 14 of 18 greens and wanted simply 24 putts.